TV Review: Gotham - Season 2 Episode 13 "A Dead Man Feels No Cold"
Episode 13: "A Dead Man Feels No Cold"
Synopsis: As Gordon, Bullock and Barnes continue the search for Victor Fries (guest star Nathan Darrow), they are forced to look to his wife, Nora (guest-star Kristen Hager), for help. Meanwhile, Penguin is introduced to Hugo Strange (guest star BD Wong), and Alfred reveals some crucial information to Bruce about his parents’ murderer.
Recap: The biggest problem I have had with Gotham over these two seasons has been the haphazard way some villains have been built up and then discarded after one episode, maybe two. Earlier this season, the proto-Joker, Jerome, was killed off rather unceremoniously but the tease was that he may return. When the first half of this season concluded back in November, it seemed like Theo Galavan was going to fade away after a dozen episodes of build-up. Now, it seems that is not the case and Gotham has finally found a way to build up these villains and provide an opportunity for them to exact their titular wrath.
After determining that Victor Fries was the man killing in order to save his wife, Nora, the GCPD discover an Ace Chemicals warehouse where Mr. Freeze has taken more supplies to build his formula while leaving bodies in his wake. Several have shards of ice through them, the result of Fries' new ice grenades. He also has taken a janitor hostage and leaves a message telling the GCPD to free his wife. Captain Barnes is livid and the determination is made to move Nora Fries to Arkham Asylum and use her as bait. Lee Thompkins doesn't like the idea but demands to accompany her patient to the facility. Jim Gordon is hesitant but obliges the mother of his unborn baby.
Upon arriving at Arkham, Hugo Strange meets the GCPD and offers them anything they need. Strange's assistant, Ms. Peabody, has been torturing Penguin and guides Lee and Nora to a medical ward where the only other patient is a comatose Barbara Kean. When Nora awakens, Lee brings her up to speed. Nora pleads with Lee that Victor is not evil but is only doing this to save her. Lee feels for Nora as she knows what it is like to see someone she loves, Jim, descend into becoming someone they are not. While the showrunners are not exactly being subtle here, I would anticipate that Morena Baccarin's character will be gone by season's end, either by nefarious means or of her own choosing. The dark side of Jim Gordon can only go on for so long before he has to become the hero we are all accustomed to.
Gordon and Bullock come across Penguin at Arkham who pleads with Jim. He says he is being tortured and it is all because of taking the blame for Galavan's death. Gordon ignores the pleas but Hugo Strange overhears Penguin's admission via security camera. Gordon then prepares for Fries' arrival as a bus careens into the Arkham fence. A diversion as Fries melts a wall to the asylum, the cops try to head him off, but Strange begins locking down the doors of the facility, blocking their path. Leading Fries to a secured room, Strange offers to help him escape in exchange for a vial of his formula, which Fries agrees to. Fries eventually finds Nora and Lee. Gordon arrives but a deal is reached which results in Gordon being locked up while Fries takes his wife and Lee with him. The trio escape but Gordon knows where they are headed: Fries' basement lab at his home.
At their home, Nora begs for Victor to let her die but he cannot let her go. With his and Lee's back turned, Nora changes the formula for an unstable version and when Victor freezes her, she dies. Forlorn, Victor offers to go with the police. With Lee gone, Victor freezes himself, seemingly to death. While the case seems closed, we soon find that Fries is alive and at Indian Hill. Hugo Strange meets with him at a frozen chamber where he explains that the regular exposure to the formula has altered his DNA, giving Fries his new icy eyes and white hair. Strange explains they are adapting Fries' suit to allow him to walk freely but only because they have a project they need his help with. The camera then pans to another chamber holding the deceased Theo Galavan.
The episode also features the return of Bruce Wayne from his vacation in Switzerland. Alfred reveals that he did some digging and found the man Silver St. Cloud had told him about, Matches Malone (a nice reference to Batman's other alter ego in DC Comics), who may be his parents' killer. Bruce makes a deal with Alfred that they will find the man but Bruce must allow Alfred to kill him to spare the young Master Wayne. Bruce agrees, but then asks Selina Kyle for help in finding and killing Matches. I am not sure where this subplot is going but the smaller dose of Bruce Wayne has helped the focus of the show. Gordon and Lee's final scene this episode teases their eventual falling out, but it was the focus on Fries' storyline that made this episode so strong. The fact that these bad guys could all come back may seem like a cheap cliche from the world of comic books, but it also begins the change of this show from the gritty crime series it started out as into a true superhero series, but one without a superhero. I am very interested to see how they handle that when the time comes.
Episode Final Verdict:
Next Episode: "This Ball of Mud and Meanness" airs March 13th: Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) help Bruce (David Mazouz) on his quest to find his parents’ killer, Matches Malone (guest star Michael Bowen). Meanwhile, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) follows up with Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) on Kristen Kringle’s whereabouts and Hugo Strange (guest star BD Wong) continues his treatment of Penguin(Robin Lord Taylor).